U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Livestock grazing is a major activity in the Battle Mountain District. Permittees purchase animal unit months (AUMS) of livestock forage. An AUM is the amount of forage necessary for the sustenance of one cow and calf, five sheep, two burros or one horse for one month. About 275,596 AUMS of livestock forage are authorized annually.
BLM’s grazing regulations were revised in 1995 to ensure that livestock grazing is conducted in a manner the will sustain or improve the fundamental ecological health of public rangelands. Under the revised grazing regulations, each BLM state office worked with its citizen Resource Advisory Councils (RAC) to develop state and area specific Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Managing Livestock Grazing.
The Battle Mountain District which includes the Tonopah Field Station uses:
The intended outcome of the Standards and Guidelines will result in a balance of sustainable development and multiple use along with progress, over time, toward attaining desired rangeland conditions. Guidelines are based on science, best rangeland management practices, and public input. These recommended Standards and Guidelines reflect the stated goals of improving rangeland health while providing for the viability of the livestock industry, all wildlife species and wild horses and burros in the Northeastern and Mojave-Southern Great Basin areas.
The District conducts assessments of grazing allotments to determine if Standards for Rangeland Health are being achieved. If an assessment determines that an area is not meeting the standards for rangeland health, the field office prepares an analysis that identifies opportunities and methods to adjust grazing management, and initiates the changes needed to make significant progress in improving rangeland health. Permittees have the opportunity to be actively involved in the rangeland management process, through cooperative monitoring and proactive grazing use.
The range staff administers livestock grazing on 94 allotments and has 88 permittees; encompassing 10.5 million acres of land. Range staff issue grazing permits, completes billing for grazing on public land, assesses and mitigates the impacts of livestock grazing on rangeland health, oversees the installation and maintenance of range improvements and monitors livestock use to insure compliance with grazing rules and regulations.
Range is part of the renewable resources staff which includes other program areas such as wild horses and burros, wildlife, riparian and noxious weeds. The range program also provides support to other programs within the offices such as non renewable resources and fire. Currently, the range staff in the Battle Mountain Field Office consists of one team lead, four rangeland management specialists, one range technician and a range assistant. The Tonopah Field Station range staff consists of one team lead, three rangeland management specialists and a range technician.